Auto Enrollment


Auto Enrollment is a government initiative to encourage the people to save for their retired life through pension scheme at work. Auto Enrolment is taken seriously by the government where all the employers legally need to automatically enroll their eligible employees into a pension which could come up with escalating penalties if not fulfilled on time.


Auto Enrolment duties apply to all companies regardless of the size of the business and the number of employees employed.

If you are an employer, you must enroll any of your staff who meet all of the following criteria: 

  • If they earn over £192 per week (or £833 per month)
  • If they are aged 22 or over and
  • If they are under state pension age

For the employees who are either under the age of 22 or over the state pension age, they may request the employer to enroll them in workplace pension scheme and employer must allow this too.


The government/pensions regulator has allowed some time for the organizations to put their plans and processes in place in regards to the introduction of new auto-enrolment duties. A timetable has been generated as per the staging dates determined by the number of employees forming their PAYE schemes as at 01 April 2012.

Employers are contacted by The Pensions Regulator 12 months prior to their staging date to start preparing them for their duties to be fulfilled.


  • Employers with 50 to 249 employees in their PAYE Scheme will have their staging dates between 01 April 2014 and 01 April 2015.
  • Employers with less than 50 employees in their PAYE Scheme will have their staging dates between 01 June 2015 and 01 April 2017.
  • Based on the employers first PAYE, new employers who have initiated their trading from 01 April 2012 to 30 September 2017, will have their staging dates between 01 May 2017 to 01 February 2018. This is not based on the number of employees.


The contribution rates have been pre-set by the government with its validity date range. Currently, there is a minimum contribution that the employers need to make which is 2% and that is a mandatory value. Should they wish to pay more than 2% then that is possible too.

Date Effective Employer Minimum Contribution Employee Minimum Contribution Total Minimum Contribution
6 April 2019 onwards 3% 5% 8%
6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 2% 3% 5%


It is highly recommended for all the employers to take action at least 12 months prior to the staging date when the company is required by law to have their complete pension’s system and processes set up.

It involves a lot of time and effort to put things together in one place. This is normally not anticipated by most employers at the beginning stage but they realize as time passes and there is less time left on their hands.


That’s Great! if you already have a Pension Scheme setup for your company. But it is highly recommended that this has been checked thoroughly to ensure that it complies with the regulation as set by The Pensions Regulator. Because sometimes there are cases where the pension scheme is set to be open to certain criteria of employees only whereas it needs to be open for all the employees of the organization regardless of their criteria.


There are many employer who do not have a pension scheme set up yet for their employees. In this case, you need to start your research and find the most appropriate pension scheme for your company with the assistance of Makesworth. There are many schemes in the market today but it is recommended to choose the government-run schemes where the most appropriate one today is National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) which has a public service obligation to accepts all employers that apply to join NEST regardless of the number of employees and the size of the organization.


At Makesworth, we have designed a procedure to ensure that our clients comply with new legislation. We have carried out a full assessment of our clients and have set up necessary action plans for workplace pension scheme. We will carry out all the necessary work on behalf of you.


Auto Enrolment brings in a significant change in your Payroll Department. As a part of the planning for auto-enrolment, you will need to focus on the payroll software and various processes that are currently used in the process of completing payroll for your organization. Here, it needs to be fully checked so as to know whether these systems are fully compliant and reliable to be used to make sure that the auto-enrolment duties are fulfilled appropriately.

In considering these changes, there also arises certain other administrative works relating to the management of payroll with increased compliance and burden of Real Time Information (RTI) and auto-enrolment.

If you use an in-house payroll system such as QuickBooks Payroll or Payroll Manager, then one of our Payroll specialists can provide you with some advice and guidance as required.

Should you wish to outsource your payroll, Makesworth offers a comprehensive payroll service that is fully RTI – Auto Enrolment compliant.

For a free no obligation quotation, please contact Makesworth Payroll Team at 020 7993 8850.

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